Music

There are few aspects of life that are not improved by the inclusion of music.  Music has the power to bring people together, to support emotional, physical, social and mental wellbeing.  There is an ever increasing body of evidence being produced about the effects of music has on all these factors.

Music in Penicuik is designed to start people off on a lifelong enjoyment of music, whether through listening, composing or performing, we encourage young people to take the lead in their learning and develop their own musical identity.

What skills can be developed in Music? 

Music is an ideal vehicle for developing a range of skills in young people.  Working with other people through group performance develops skills in communication, working with others, respecting opinions and more.  Learning an instrument helps develop resilience, fine motor skills, self-awareness, open mind set to name a few.  Composing music helps develop amongst other things, skills in creativity, problem solving, adaptability, independence and perseverance.

Potential careers related to Music

  • A&R Manager
  • Background Singer
  • Blogger
  • Booking Agent
  • Composer
  • Concert Promoter
  • DJ
  • Event Manager
  • Instrument Technician
  • Live Sound Technician
  • Music Journalist
  • Music PR
  • Music Producer
  • Music Teacher
  • Music Therapist
  • Musical Director
  • Musician
  • Radio Producer
  • Recording Engineer
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
  • Tour Manager

A lot of musicians make a living from a portfolio career mixing performance for example with teaching.  The skills and opportunities gained through music are also attractive to potential employers and further/higher education establishments.

Broad General Education (BGE)

Our BGE curriculum is strongly weighted on practical and creative music experiences embedding technology where appropriate.

Music in S1

Our S1 courses are all about teaching basic skills on a range of instruments as soon as the pupils start in S1.  Instruments covered in the classroom include, keyboard, guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, ukulele, and voice.  Pupils will choose from these instruments and have the opportunity to develop their individual skills as we well as play as part of a group.  Pupils will also get the opportunity to create their own music and also use technology.

Music in S2.

S2 has a skills focus with pupils specialising in one of the instruments from S1 and also experience a range of different projects, from developing their second instrument, playing in groups, recording, researching and creating their own music.

Music in S3

The S3 curriculum is mainly project based across the first two terms.  Pupils are encouraged to work more independently and are given a great deal of personalisation and choice in their coursework.  Overarching areas of work include pupil led group performing, individual skills building, group composing and recording, second instrument work, music concepts and technology.

Assessment information

Pupils have the opportunity to direct their assessment through the use of rubrics to enhance their skills in performing and creating.  We have termly tracking and monitoring conversations with the pupils in Broad General Education and aim for them to identify their next steps in learning.

Senior Phase

We offer both Music from N3-Advanced Higher and Music Technology N3 – Higher throughout the senior phase.

For music, we offer pupils a great deal of ownership over their learning through ensuring personalisation and choice.  We build in music appreciation and listening work to support the Understanding Music element of the course.  The pupils use this to engage in music concepts from across historical periods in music.  They can also access this through google classroom.

Music technology looks to support the development of technology skills.  Pupils have a large say in the make-up of their final technology projects, but often opt for either music to picture or live recording.

Exam information

The music practical exam diet runs from the middle of February until towards the end of March.  It is likely that a visiting examiner will be in school listening to pupil performances towards the end of February.

The music assignment (composing) folios are generally due in towards the end of March with the understanding music paper taking place during the May diet of exams.

The outline of the N5 course is as follows:

Performance: Overall 50 marks (50%)

Instrument 1 = 25 marks

Instrument 2 = 25 marks

The purpose of the performance is to allow you to demonstrate skills on either two selected instruments, or on a selected instrument and voice.

  • The performance can be solo and/or in a group setting.
  • The overall programme must last 8 minutes.
  • The performance time on either of the two selected instruments, or instrument and voice, must be a minimum of 2 minutes within the overall 8 minute programme.

You should perform a minimum of two contrasting pieces of music on each of the two selected instruments, or instrument and voice. These should be of an appropriate standard/level of difficulty.

Composition (Assignment) Overall 30 marks (15%)

The purpose of the composing assignment is to explore and develop musical ideas to create music. The assignment has two parts:

  • composing one piece of music
  • reviewing the composing process

The composed piece may be in any style/genre and must last between a minimum of 1 minute and a maximum of 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Listening (Question Paper) Overall 40 marks (35%)

The purpose of the question paper is to assess your knowledge and understanding of music concepts and music literacy.

You will do this by responding to questions that relate to excerpts of music in different styles. A range of question types are used in the question paper. All questions in the question paper are mandatory.

The question paper gives you an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

  • aural perception and discrimination (being able to hear the music concepts)
  • knowledge and understanding of a range of music styles, concepts and music literacy 

The course outline for Higher is similar to N5:

Performance: Overall 60 marks (50%)

Instrument 1 = 30 marks (scaled to 25)

Instrument 2 = 30 marks (scaled to 25)

The purpose of the performance is to allow you to demonstrate skills on either two selected instruments, or on a selected instrument and voice.

  • The performance can be solo and/or in a group setting.
  • The overall programme must last 12 minutes.
  • The performance time on either of the two selected instruments, or instrument and voice, must be a minimum of 4 minutes within the overall 12 minute programme.

Pupils should perform a minimum of two contrasting pieces of music on each of the two selected instruments, or instrument and voice. These should be of an appropriate standard/level of difficulty.(ABRSM GD 4 equivalent)

Composition (Assignment) Overall 30 marks (15%)

The purpose of the composing assignment is to explore and develop musical ideas to create music. The assignment has two parts:

  • composing one piece of music
  • reviewing the composing process

The composed piece may be in any style/genre and must last between a minimum of 1.30 minutes and a maximum of 3 minutes.

Listening (Question Paper) Overall 40 marks (35%)

The purpose of the question paper is to assess pupil’s knowledge and understanding of music concepts and music literacy.

They will do this by responding to questions that relate to excerpts of music in different styles. A range of question types are used in the question paper. All questions in the question paper are mandatory.

The question paper gives pupils an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

  • aural perception and discrimination (being able to hear the music concepts)
  • knowledge and understanding of a range of music styles, concepts and music literacy

Music technology 

This course is largely project based with at N5 level, two short projects need to be completed and at Higher one longer project.  This is due for submission towards the middle of March.

A listening paper examining the technical aspects of recording will be sat during the May diet of exams.

Extracurricular opportunities

Music has a range of extended curricular groups running during the school week.

Monday:

  • Burntout Records
  • Vocal Group

Tuesday:

  • Wind Band

Wednesday

  • Cello Group
  • Clarsach Ensemble

Thursday

  • Jazz Band
  • String Group

Friday

  • Guitar Group

Burnt Out Records

Burnt Out Records is our student run Record Label. We started in 2007 and sign our own artists who write and record their own music.  We design, mix and produce their music throughout the school year. We also have professional artists come to play at our music venue called The Music Hub. In the past we have had artists such as Nina Nesbitt, Wingin’ It, Sophie Bancroft, Siobhan Miller, American duo Hungrytown, up and coming artist Emily Burns, Admiral Fallow, Karine Polwart, Blue Rose Code to name a few.

For more information please go to www.burntoutrecords.com

Trips

Our young musicians have had the opportunity to undertake a range of trips and performance experiences over the years.  It is an enriching part of learning.  We run trips to see opera, undertake creative music events, attend music business events and conferences, lots of different performance experience both in and out with school.

Members of the Music Department

The classroom teachers in the music department are:

K Murphy (Head of Department)
S McIntosh
M Murphy

Instrumental Tutors:

We have a fantastic team of instrumental music instructors who work with individuals and small groups throughout the week and run a number of our extended curricular work.

T Dance (Cello)
S Docherty (Woodwind)
A Dougan (Piano)
F Mitchell (Voice & Violin)
A Pilcher (Guitar)
B J Waddell (Percussion)
R Walker (Brass)
H Yuill (Clarsach)